Essay about Nuclear Energy

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     When most people think of a nuclear threat, they think of a nuclear attack from a

foreign nation. In reality, the largest nuclear threat comes not from foreign attack, but

from a much closer enemy: nuclear power. Nuclear power is very dangerous, and should

be done away with.

     The nuclear age dawned in 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs

on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombing had at least two effects:

the Japanese surrender, bringing World War II to a swift end; and many people in the

United States, especially scientists and officials involved in the development of atomic

bombs, were awed, frightened and filled with guilt over the
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Many

people see the existing form of nuclear power as unsafe technology with a potential for

catastrophe. There have been multiple examples of this throughout the history of nuclear

power including the Browns Ferry, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl incidents.

     A serious incident occurred at a nuclear power plant in 1975 as a result of a fire

started by a candle. On March 22, 1975, two large reactors at Browns Ferry, Alabama

were operating and generating 2,200 megawatts of electricity. Beneath the plant’s control

center, electricians were trying to seal air leaks among the complex array of electrical

cables that made up the electrical system of the two reactors.(Stephens 15)

     The leaks were being sealed by stuffing strips of polyurethane foam among the

cables. To test for air leaks, the electricians held a lighted candle near the plastic foam to

see whether the flame flickered. Some of the foam caught on fire. Three chemical

extinguishers failed to put it out. After fifteen minutes a fire alarm sounded. Meanwhile,

the fire was spreading and destroying cables that affect the plant’s electrical systems

including the reactor’s Emergency Core Cooling System. A small pump had to be used to

keep the fuel core covered with water to prevent a meltdown.(Stephens 17-19)

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